Trading of Traditions Panel

Venue: BGLT, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG

Date: 8 November

Time: 2-5pm Doc film

The final event of the Trading of Traditions event is a panel comprising two parts. The first is entitled Recent Developments in Southeast Asian Documentary Film, and the second will explore the work of the live and visual artists taking part in Trading of Traditions.

Part 1: Recent Developments in Southeast Asian Documentary Film

Southeast Asia’s fast-paced social and political changes, unsettled, turbulent history and rich cultural heritage offer documentary filmmakers a vast array of stories to tell. Capturing these realities has become much easier in recent years through more affordable and accessible technology and film festivals, which showcase the work of these young filmmakers, are blossoming in the region. However, training opportunities and support networks are still scarce, which often hinders the production of well-crafted, high-quality documentaries which can compete on an international scale. This panel explores recent developments in Southeast Asian documentary filmmaking.


Eric Sasono is a PhD student at King’s College, London. He will talk about the recent development of documentary film in Indonesia after reformasi. This political shift has made a significant change in the media environment in Indonesia, liberating the production and circulation of media in Indonesia – including documentary films. Major changes in production and circulation have enabled the filmmakers to experiment on the formats and the culture of documentary film watching is growing. 

Dr Felicia Hughes-Freeland (SOAS, University of London) gained her PhD in anthropology at SOAS and trained in documentary filmmaking at the National Film and Television School. Formerly Reader in Anthropology at Swansea University, since 2011 she has been an independent scholar and writer and Research Associate in the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at SOAS. In her presentation she will give insights into Indonesian Women Documentarists and Empowerment. The growth of documentary filmmaking in Indonesia is one of the striking cultural developments features of the post-Suharto era from 1998. Felicia considers the work of leading women documentarists such as Nia Dinata, Ucu Agustin, Yuli Andari and Ariani Djalal and their contribution to women’s empowerment in education, marriage, and the workplace.  

Dr May Adadol Ingawanij (University of Westminster) is Reader at CREAM and Director of Research at the International Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film. Her research and teaching areas cover cinema history, Asian cinema (focusing on cinemas in Southeast Asia and Siam/Thailand), theories of spectatorship, independent and experimental moving image aesthetics, cinema and politics, moving image curating, and radical practices of moving image exhibition. She will introduce experimental-doc works from a few sites in Southeast Asia.

Tito Imanda, PhD student at Goldsmiths University of London, and Nosa Normanda, filmmaker and lecturer, are going to join us via Skype to introduce their latest collaboration on a documentary, which features the work of a traditional performance group from a rural area in Java.

We will show Amelia Hapsari‘s documentary Akar (2014) as part of the panel.

Part 2: The Artists of Trading of Traditions

In this part of the panel we will hear from the artists who are engaging in SEA ArtsFest as they talk to us about their work. The artists are:

Adjjima Na Patalung (The Nang Yai Project) Click here for more information.

Ketna Patel (Diary of Transience) Click here for more information.

Dam Van Huyhn Click here for more information.

Nick Gray (My Tricksy Spirit) Click here for more information.